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Buyer's Guide: Car Seats

Buyer's Guide: Car Seats

Newborns are delicate and fragile, so it’s not advised to bring them on trips during the first few months. However, with many young couples working day jobs, this means that baby has to buckle up and get traveling more often.

An infant car seat is an essential piece of equipment for families’ on-the-go, and is enforced for safety as well as regulatory reasons. The car seat has to be firmly secured to the cushion, with a sturdy enough, shock-absorbing frame and soft layering that will make it comfortable for your baby. With a slew of choices available in the market, making a choice can be a huge headache. Fret not; we’ve prepared a handy guide to help you choose the best car seat for your little sweetheart.


what’s available

Rear Facing Infant Car Seats

The Infant car seat is designed for babies up to approximately nine months of age. These seats are typically lightweight, portable, and come with a 3-point safety harness. They come with a detachable base, for easy installation and removal from the vehicle.

Convertible Toddler Car Seats

Toddler Car Seats are suitable for children up to 4 years of age, and can be fitted in the rear-facing and forward-facing configurations. Switching your baby from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing one is probably the biggest change you will make in your child’s car seat. According to the American Association of Pediatricians, it’s advisable to put your child in the rear-facing configuration until he is at least 2 years of age, or weighs more than 9 kg. These generally come with a 5-point safety harness.

Belt-positioning Booster Car Seats

If your child has outgrown the toddler car seat, but isn’t quite big enough to use the adult seat belt, this is the car seat for you. They are secured using the car’s seat belt system, and are designed with additional protective features. The safest place to fit the booster seat is the middle of the rear seats, where your child will be best protected from a side-impact crash. Booster car seats can be used until your child is approximately 8 years old.


refine your selection

ISOFIX Car Seats

ISOFIX is the international standard for attachment points for car seats – ISOFIX car seats have 3 ISOFIX points:

  • 2 ISOFIX connectors (metal bars) fit on the anchor points (metal clips) at the base end of the vehicle rear seat
  • A tether or support leg to provide the 3rd secure point to prevent rotation of the car seat

The ISOFIX safety system helps to give you peace of mind when you’re travelling with your child, and it’s been proven that the ISOFIX system reduces the chance of a wrongly fitted car seat. This system allows for easy installation and a solid connection for the car seat, leading to improved protection. If your car has an inbuilt ISOFIX system, which is common among newer car models, then make sure to grab an ISOFIX rated car seat.


additional considerations

    • Convertibility: The age of your child determines the type of car seat you should be looking for, as mentioned in the previous section. However, car manufacturers have been able to integrate car seats for different ages into convertible models that can be configured according to your child’s age. If you’re running on a tighter budget, then convertible car seats would be an appealing choice, since buying three car seats for each stage will require a larger investment.
    • Portability: You may want to consider a car seat that is compatible with your stroller, so that installation and removal becomes a breeze. The car seat base should be separate, meaning that you’ll just have to install the base, and the car seat clicks in and out with ease.
    • Dimensions: It’s important to note that not all car seats will fit into every car! You’ll have to know how much space is available at the rear seat of your car, as well as consider who else will be sitting in the rear seats. Above all, ensure that the car seat you select can be safety and easily installed into your car model, with no twisted straps if you’re using a non-ISOFIX model. 


features to look for

    • Safety Rating: A car seat is meant to provide protection for your child in the event of a crash, so safety rating is of utmost importance. Car seats from well-known brands should meet all regulatory safety standards, and have additional safety features like side-impact protection and cushioning. However, if you do decide to get a second-hand one, or the cheaper models with unknown brands, check with your retailer that these have undergone the necessary safety tests.
    • Comfort: Look for a car seat with generous padding and head support, so your child gets maximum comfort and safety. The seat should be able to install quickly and secure effectively.
    • Ease of Maintenance: Don’t overlook this point! Your child is going to be spending quite some time in the car seat, and if feeding is on the menu, it’s likely that there will be food spills and messes to manage. Making sure that the car seat fabric can be cleaned easily will save you a lot of headache, and prevent your child’s seat from becoming a sloshing mess.


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